Although we may shatter in tears and shouted curses, we crack in pleasantries and unspoken words.
I’m sorry, but I like my music loud. And I mean loud. I like to test the breaking point of my eardrums, and tightrope walk on the line between loud and unacceptably noisy. (Mostly I fall to the latter side). When you come over to my house, don’t politely remark that it’s “a bit noisy”. I won’t hear you, I’ll be busy drowning in sound. Turn the volume all the way up and while you’re at it, turn the bass up too. I beg of you, don’t hush my music. Turn it up because I long to be surrounded by throbbing, brilliant noise. Noise that’s alive and speaks to me in drum beats and vocals and chills down my back. I’m a loud person, and sometimes I need to drown my voice out in numbing and tingling waves of powerful beautiful music instead. Keep your mute button. I’ll stick with the bass running through the walls and sprinting through my chest. Keep your humming and singing softly, and keep it far away from me. Because I will scream these lyrics and I don’t care if you hear me. I’ll take my music loud, thanks, sprinkled with meaning and power and deep rhythm. Keep your hushed noise. I like my music loud.
Stop mistaking me for a boy.
Do you know how embarrassing that is? Because as it turns out, world, you know that this is a patriarchal society that I live in. I have to live with the small but painful inequalities that go against women, and then you have the nerve to go and call me a boy? Society, I am trying so hard to live with being comfortable. And I am comfortable with how I am right now. Yes. That includes my flattish chest, and I’m doing nothing to try and show off the cleavage that I do have. That includes my large t-shirts and sporty shorts, and I’m most comfortable in them. And YES, that includes my short hair, and I’m not going to grow it out so that I look like your cookie cutter female. And with all this, society, I am COMFORTABLE. And if you, girls, are comfortable in your makeup and tight short clothes, then WEAR THEM. BE COMFORTABLE.
And so yes, I know that you didn’t mean it. I know that you were rushing and made a snap judgement. And I know you’re gonna yell at me for asking you to take the time to study me until you can make a better judgement about my gender. But honestly, why shouldn’t I ask you to? It takes about one second to make a better decision, compared to the hours I spend second guessing my choices to be comfortable when you mistake me for a boy.
And even if you don’t, I still know I’m a woman, because I have to deal with being a woman. Even if you can’t tell, I still have to bleed for a week every month. I still have to deal with being called “bossy” instead of “assertive”. I’m still considered obnoxious because of my tendency to speak up quite often. I still have to deal with the 70 cents a woman makes for every dollar a man makes in the work force. So please.
Don’t. Mistake me. For a boy.
She is the one who laughs in the rain. She is the one who changes. She is the one who screams with laughter at the biting bits of water stinging her skin. She is the one who can’t contain her joy when the clouds roll in and it smells like downpour. She is the one who hates having so much, and yet buys as much as her money allows. She is the one who remembers the moments spent drenched and giggling, the moments spent on bridges, biking, in clothes soaked through. Remembers only the inability to stop grinning, she is the one who feels crazy. She is the one who cares too much, and sometimes doesn’t care. She is the one who doesn’t hide from the thunder. She is the one who bikes home from the sand and water in a girl’s bikini top and a guy’s pair of swim shirts, barefoot, freckled, and maniacally smiling. She is the one reluctant to drift away. She is the one who hugs herself sometimes, and she is the one who hates herself sometimes. She is the one who doesn’t believe in shoes in the summertime. She is the one who loves, and is loved. And she is the one who laughs in the rain.
Hey. It’s been awhile. But I write now. It’s been over a year, actually. I’ve grown, in wrong ways and right ways. But now I write. I play Ultimate, I quit my prep opt team, and I stopped wearing makeup. I write now, I hope you like it. If you don’t, I really don’t care.